Japanese American making shell jewelry

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ddr-densho-2-58 (Legacy UID: denshopd-p2-00058)

Bain Collection

Peggie Yorita making jewelry from shells found within the confines of the Tule Lake concentration camp. Making jewelry was a popular pastime for the Japanese Americans. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed. As a result, shells were available for people to fashion into jewelry for sale to camp personnel. Shells were scarce and digging became competitive. To beat the rush of diggers, some people got up at sunrise and dug holes up their waist in order to find the shells. Some had homemade wire sieves to sift the sand.


Still Image


Courtesy of the Bain Family Collection

Copyright restricted
Copyright restricted